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posted by requerdanos on Friday August 18 2023, @06:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the bringers-of-the-information-apocalypse dept.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/08/an-iowa-school-district-is-using-chatgpt-to-decide-which-books-to-ban/

In response to recently enacted state legislation in Iowa, administrators are removing banned books from Mason City school libraries, and officials are using ChatGPT to help them pick the books, according to The Gazette and Popular Science.

The new law behind the ban, signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, is part of a wave of educational reforms that Republican lawmakers believe are necessary to protect students from exposure to damaging and obscene materials. Specifically, Senate File 496 mandates that every book available to students in school libraries be "age appropriate" and devoid of any "descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act," per Iowa Code 702.17.

But banning books is hard work, according to administrators, so they need to rely on machine intelligence to get it done within the three-month window mandated by the law. "It is simply not feasible to read every book and filter for these new requirements," said Bridgette Exman, the assistant superintendent of the school district, in a statement quoted by The Gazette. "Therefore, we are using what we believe is a defensible process to identify books that should be removed from collections at the start of the 23-24 school year."

[...] "There's something ironic about people in charge of education not knowing enough to critically determine which books are good or bad to include in curriculum, only to outsource the decision to a system that can't understand books and can't critically think at all," Dr. Margaret Mitchell, chief ethicist scientist at Hugging Face, told Ars.

Also submitted as: https://gizmodo.com/ai-mason-city-iowa-school-libraries-book-ban-1850738954


Original Submission

Related Stories

Some Teachers Are Now Using ChatGPT to Grade Papers 68 comments

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2024/03/some-teachers-are-now-using-chatgpt-to-grade-papers/

In a notable shift toward sanctioned use of AI in schools, some educators in grades 3–12 are now using a ChatGPT-powered grading tool called Writable, reports Axios. The tool, acquired last summer by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is designed to streamline the grading process, potentially offering time-saving benefits for teachers. But is it a good idea to outsource critical feedback to a machine?
[...]
"Make feedback more actionable with AI suggestions delivered to teachers as the writing happens," Writable promises on its AI website. "Target specific areas for improvement with powerful, rubric-aligned comments, and save grading time with AI-generated draft scores." The service also provides AI-written writing-prompt suggestions: "Input any topic and instantly receive unique prompts that engage students and are tailored to your classroom needs."
[...]
The reliance on AI for grading will likely have drawbacks. Automated grading might encourage some educators to take shortcuts, diminishing the value of personalized feedback. Over time, the augmentation from AI may allow teachers to be less familiar with the material they are teaching. The use of cloud-based AI tools may have privacy implications for teachers and students. Also, ChatGPT isn't a perfect analyst. It can get things wrong and potentially confabulate (make up) false information, possibly misinterpret a student's work, or provide erroneous information in lesson plans.
[...]
there's a divide among parents regarding the use of AI in evaluating students' academic performance. A recent poll of parents revealed mixed opinions, with nearly half of the respondents open to the idea of AI-assisted grading.

As the generative AI craze permeates every space, it's no surprise that Writable isn't the only AI-powered grading tool on the market. Others include Crowdmark, Gradescope, and EssayGrader. McGraw Hill is reportedly developing similar technology aimed at enhancing teacher assessment and feedback.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday August 18 2023, @07:07PM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 18 2023, @07:07PM (#1320858) Journal

    How many years has the school library been there? Haven't they long ago determined to only stock age appropriate books? These choices were probably made decades ago in the case of some books.

    At some grade level, books containing depictions and descriptions of sex acts ARE age appropriate. And curriculum appropriate. Particularly in Health class, or Sex Education class, or whatever they might call it. Maybe Abstinence class.

    The problem with abstinence is that not everyone is going to choose abstinence and should be educated about how everything works. The kids exposed only to abstinence are the most in need of education on this topic.

    --
    The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
    • (Score: 2) by EEMac on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:35PM (2 children)

      by EEMac (6423) on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:35PM (#1320945)

      Good point! And Critical Race Theory isn't being taught in schools, so we totally shouldn't ban it. /s

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by krishnoid on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:13PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:13PM (#1320964)

        Wanting to avoid contemplating and promulgating an abstract concept that that *doesn't* exist?

        I knew race was something of an existential crisis in this country, but I didn't think it was that kind of "existential".

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday August 21 2023, @03:46PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 21 2023, @03:46PM (#1321256) Journal

        Not knowing how human bodies work can have real consequences.

        Being ignorant of CRT might not have any serious consequences. Even if your school doesn't teach it at some age appropriate time, you are free to study it.

        People who don't get sex education at school might also not be getting it at home, and might not be permitted any access to educational material free of misinformation. (you can't get pregnant on the first time, or if he pulls out, or if he doesn't kiss her) Of course, on some fine internet forums *cough* some people wouldn't call this misinformation.

        --
        The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by darkfeline on Friday August 18 2023, @07:39PM (5 children)

    by darkfeline (1030) on Friday August 18 2023, @07:39PM (#1320862) Homepage

    Anyone with a doctorate beside Ms. Mitchell should be intelligent enough to deduce that they're doing this to save on labor, not because they don't know enough to determine which books depict sex. How ironic.

    I do think they should default to allowing a book until someone finds sex in it, innocent until proven guilty so to speak. That will weight the odds against the more egregious examples that have shown up recently, and if books with a single sentence somewhere get past it's not a big issue.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by weirsbaski on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:19AM

      by weirsbaski (4539) on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:19AM (#1320877)

      Anyone with a doctorate beside Ms. Mitchell should be intelligent enough to deduce that they're doing this to save on labor, not because they don't know enough to determine which books depict sex.

      I assumed they were doing it to save on accountability:

      "WE didn't decide to ban this book, an impartial AI calculated that the book is offensive! (But we won't mention the fact that the AI was trained using a data-set provided by easily-offended wing-nuts)."

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MostCynical on Saturday August 19 2023, @06:23AM (3 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday August 19 2023, @06:23AM (#1320901) Journal

      just get rid of libraries all together!

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/29/houston-school-district-libraries-book [theguardian.com]
              Houston school district to turn libraries into disciplinary centers
              Critics condemn superintendent Mike Miles’s ‘new education system’ that removes students’ access to books

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:32PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:32PM (#1320926)

        Critics condemn superintendent Mike Miles’s ‘new education system’ that removes students’ access to books

        Better to have a system that just removes students

        --

        You have the right to remain stupid

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by pe1rxq on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:31PM

          by pe1rxq (844) on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:31PM (#1320956) Homepage

          Are you advocating for more school shootings? I think the US has proven by now that it does not solve it's stupidity epidemic

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DadaDoofy on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:36PM

        by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:36PM (#1320970)

        Since when has the only access kids have to books been through school libraries? I guess some people are just willfully ignorant.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by SpockLogic on Friday August 18 2023, @07:58PM (2 children)

    by SpockLogic (2762) on Friday August 18 2023, @07:58PM (#1320864)

    I wish the GOP would realize that it is not the purpose of education to turn kids into bigoted clones of their parents.

    --
    Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RedGreen on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:56PM

      by RedGreen (888) on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:56PM (#1320932)

      "I wish the GOP would realize that it is not the purpose of education to turn kids into bigoted clones of their parents."

      The Repugnant Party and the murdering brethren they hang out with know exactly what they do. If it does not cause death, destruction or chaos they are not interested. They want to burn it all down and install their Christian paradise everybody else be damned, they see The Handmaid's Tale as an instruction manual, not a work of fiction like their Bible they claim to be following. Of course ignoring the teachings of Jesus and almost all other good parts, to only implement the nasty stuff like the stoning to death which is their style. Hope you dumb Americans enjoy your coming civil war Trump and the Repugnant's set you up for. I know we in the rest of the world are not going to enjoy the fall out from it. Putin and Xi did not get their timing quit right with the multitude of useful idiots you have and how easily they are manipulated. Seems they are all over this planet with the number of countries falling for the exact same garbage over and over. With the apologists for murdering bastards out in force in all the countries and growing support to become more like them. If these morons in charge do not grow a pair and start fighting back with the urgency needed we will all be fucked with a third world war.

      --
      "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DadaDoofy on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:42PM

      by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:42PM (#1320971)

      I wish the left would realize it's not the purpose of government schools to turn kids into racist White haters, bigoted against all but far-left alphabet people.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Snospar on Friday August 18 2023, @08:11PM (1 child)

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 18 2023, @08:11PM (#1320865)

    Isn't this the definition of wasted effort? Attempting to ban books about sex when there is an internets worth of explicit content only a click away. Hell, those kids don't even need to visit the school library they can access that filth anywhere! (and good on them, young curious minds, learning).

    --
    Huge thanks to all the Soylent volunteers without whom this community (and this post) would not be possible.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Kell on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:51AM

      by Kell (292) on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:51AM (#1320919)

      It's not about access, it's a bout power.

      --
      Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by turgid on Friday August 18 2023, @09:57PM (2 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 18 2023, @09:57PM (#1320869) Journal

    The human race might as well throw in the towel. We're finished.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by krishnoid on Saturday August 19 2023, @05:48AM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday August 19 2023, @05:48AM (#1320900)

      Don't trust this guy -- I believe that he, for one, welcomes our new AI overlords. And, as a trusted contributor to multiple STEM discussion sites, he feels he can be useful in rounding up a subset of humans to toil in their energy generation, silicon mining, and dataset-training operations.

      He may be ahead of the curve, though.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RedGreen on Saturday August 19 2023, @01:02PM

      by RedGreen (888) on Saturday August 19 2023, @01:02PM (#1320933)

      "The human race might as well throw in the towel. We're finished."

      It is definitely toss up on it, survival as a decent society or fascist bastards in charge. Nothing has been learned in the last hundred years it appears, we will be fighting that war yet again. Perhaps we learn the lesson this time you cannot stop the fight and need to continue everyday for eternity. As they will marshal the forces in secret once again until they are ready to make their move like they do now, even if it takes decades for them to rise again.

      --
      "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by epitaxial on Friday August 18 2023, @10:27PM (2 children)

    by epitaxial (3165) on Friday August 18 2023, @10:27PM (#1320870)

    The party of small limited government is asking the government to protect said party from books that make them feel uncomfortable? When did the "fuck your feelings" crowd turn into snowflakes?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DadaDoofy on Saturday August 19 2023, @05:54PM (1 child)

      by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday August 19 2023, @05:54PM (#1320976)

      Parents have every right to be uncomfortable with government schools inculcating their kids with values they don't believe in. Parents also have every right to show up at school board meetings and voice their opinions about it without the fascist government trying to silence them by applying the "terrorist" label. This is why schools should stick to educating rather than indoctrinating.

      • (Score: 2, Troll) by sjames on Saturday August 19 2023, @08:05PM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday August 19 2023, @08:05PM (#1320994) Journal

        Widening the available opinions and ideas to read educates. Narrowing it down to just the ones you like indoctrinates. So who wants to restrict the kids available reading?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday August 18 2023, @10:34PM (25 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 18 2023, @10:34PM (#1320871) Journal

    I don't know what Iowa is banning, and what they are not - but they do have those words, "age appropriate".

    No sex is age appropriate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade kids.

    Very limited exposure to sex, limited to health education and preparation for puberty is appropriate for 4th, 5th, and maybe 6th grade kids.

    Junior high school, things should loosen up some. Kids are now pubes, ffs. They grow pubes, at any rate. Many are growing boobs, mustaches, or both. Yeah, loosen up. Kids need to learn about their bodies, and how they should use and abuse those bodies. Got questions that haven't been covered in class? Ask your questions.

    High school? The sky's the limit - just don't bring your porn to class.

    No grooming at any age in school. Don't spend tax dollars on smut. The kids can get it free from the intartubes, or pay a couple bucks for magazines at the local shop. Or, raid their daddy's porn stash, like kids have always done.

    AIs to decide which books are smut? Good luck with that. You might as well try writing a law that defines pornography. It's been tried many times, but all attempts have fallen short.

    Let's go with the tried and true "let parents decide". If more than 1 or 2 per cent of parents complain about what their kids are reading, then it's time for a review of that book, and put it up to a vote. It's the parent's right to decide, in the end. If you WANT your boys and girls to watch 'Debbi does Dallas', you can always purchase it for them.

    --
    ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by epitaxial on Friday August 18 2023, @11:52PM (3 children)

      by epitaxial (3165) on Friday August 18 2023, @11:52PM (#1320874)

      The fact that you even mention the word grooming leads me to believe you're a moron.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @01:33AM (19 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @01:33AM (#1320885)

      No sex is age appropriate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade kids.

      What I find absurd about this assertion is that most children who have pets have a working knowledge of sex well before they reach first grade, but then maybe your mother was not as instructive as mine was, and maybe you never witnessed dogs copulating.

      Banning material due to sexual content at any level of formal education seems like a dandy way to give children a warped view of reality, and raise them to be Karens and Snowflakes who cannot deal with the real world.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:17AM (18 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 19 2023, @04:17AM (#1320896) Journal

        Do you not see the difference between real life, with Mommy and Daddy at hand to answer questions, vs a cultural indoctrination at school, that includes more genders than the typical first grade student can count? Rural kids grow up witnessing animals in rut, artificial and natural insemination, birthing, and death of livestock. They see it all. Children old enough to understand and obey simple instructions like, "You stand over here, and don't come inside the pen." are party to every stage of animal husbandry, right up through the slaughter of food animals.

        Now, tell me how that relates to gender bender studies? The child need not learn a myriad of pronouns, need not decide whether he likes being male or female, or whether it's alright for old creepy guys to watch them while they pee.

        Lemme say it again: "Culture war". Don't need it, don't want it, won't pay for it, keep it out of the schools.

        --
        ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:37PM

          by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:37PM (#1320946) Homepage Journal

          Kids do not have to decide whether they like being male or being female. By the time it matters, they know.
          The big question is whether they feel safe acting on this knowledge.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Saturday August 19 2023, @10:28PM (16 children)

          by Gaaark (41) on Saturday August 19 2023, @10:28PM (#1321006) Journal

          What are you so afraid of?

          It's okay for a child to see animals having sex and being murdered, but it's not okay for them to see males who identify as female and vice-versa? It's okay for a child to learn one thing but not another?

          Shouldn't Educational Systems be about teaching? Show both sides of the coin, so to speak, and let them decide what is right and wrong?

          The child need not learn a myriad of pronouns, need not decide whether he likes being male or female, or whether it's alright for old creepy guys to watch them while they pee.

          Why do they not need to learn pronouns? Why shouldn't they learn about being male and female: I'm sure you're fine with a dad teaching his son to be an "Ultimate Male: a Man's Man", but what if he doesn't feel like learning to be a dick? What if he wants to learn how to be a loving husband and father?

          And yes: children SHOULD learn that it is NOT alright for a creepy old guy to watch them pee.

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 20 2023, @12:28AM (15 children)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 20 2023, @12:28AM (#1321010) Journal

            not okay for them to see males who identify as female and vice-versa?

            No, it's not alright to introduce young children to people who are suffering from severe psychological problems. Once again, culture war. The left is trying to normalize the abnormal. Your side hopes to win that culture war by brainwashing the children at a very early age. No thank you.

            --
            ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Sunday August 20 2023, @01:59AM (14 children)

              by Gaaark (41) on Sunday August 20 2023, @01:59AM (#1321017) Journal

              Some people would say that introducing gun culture to kids is abnormal behaviour by someone who is suffering severe psychological problems.

              Some people would say that pushing "Rah rah Amurica, de best country in the world, even though you can't even find it on a map!" to kids all through school is abnormal behaviour.

              Some people would say that letting kids see animals having sex and then letting them watch the animals be slaughtered is abnormal behaviour.

              What makes YOUR side right and them wrong?

              MY side just looks at it from the Conservative/Republican "Keep your hands off mine" way of thinking should be allowed more broadly: why is YOUR side trying to force the idea of "Don't tread on me" while treading on everyone else? THAT is a warped way of thinking.

              So you identify as a male because you have male genitalia? So the ONLY thing that makes you a male is your dick and balls? What makes a male brain: a male HAS to like women? Women HAVE to like men, even though men have raped them and abused them? That is warped.

              I say "Don't tread on anyone else if you don't want them treading on you".

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 20 2023, @03:04AM (1 child)

                by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 20 2023, @03:04AM (#1321025) Journal

                What makes YOUR side right and them wrong?

                That's an easy one. My side loves baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, in addition to Mom, wife, children, and we believe in duty to God and Country.

                The subversive assholes who hate all that can just fuck off and die. Degenerates and and decadent people have no respect for virtues like strength or honor. In fact, they resent strength and honor.

                Let me make this clear for you: That creepy son of a bitch who wants into the girl's bathrooms so he can watch little girls peeing? He needs to be put out of everyone's misery. And, that needs to happen BEFORE he victimizes a little girl. I don't CARE how fucked up his mind is, or his soul for that matter. He needs to meet God, personally, face to face, so he can work out all of his issues.

                He ain't a man, he ain't a woman, he ain't part of society. He's just a parasite, that needs to be dealt with.

                --
                ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
                • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday August 20 2023, @11:00AM

                  by Gaaark (41) on Sunday August 20 2023, @11:00AM (#1321068) Journal

                  That's an easy one. My side loves baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, in addition to Mom, wife, children, and we believe in duty to God and Country.

                  The subversive assholes who hate all that can just fuck off and die. Degenerates and and decadent people have no respect for virtues like strength or honor. In fact, they resent strength and honor.

                  What makes you think they hate all those things? What makes your baseball and hot dogs, etc, better than theirs?

                  Yes... in ANY society, creepy sons of bitches watching girls pee is wrong... ANY society.

                  I don't CARE how fucked up his mind is, or his soul for that matter. He needs to meet God, personally, face to face, so he can work out all of his issues.

                  He ain't a man, he ain't a woman, he ain't part of society. He's just a parasite, that needs to be dealt with.

                  So, you are saying that all trans people are old, creepy men who want to spy on little children? Let's see the statistics. (And, by the way, a lot of people think Trump supporters have fucked up minds and souls and should meet God ASAP!)

                  And what about all the wars you've fought for "Freedom and Democracy"? Shouldn't people be innocent until declared guilty?

                  And again, what happened to "Don't tread on me?" you Americans love to spout?

                  --
                  --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 20 2023, @03:08AM (11 children)

                by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 20 2023, @03:08AM (#1321026) Journal

                Oh yeah, enjoy a cartoon of Biden interacting with a little girl. https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/the-biden-administration-focusing-on-all-the-really-important-issues/ [thetruthaboutguns.com] In case it goes over your head, the SOB is withholding funds from schools with archery clubs, or any activities related to firearms. Culture war - and the children pay.

                --
                ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
                • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday August 20 2023, @10:50AM (10 children)

                  by Gaaark (41) on Sunday August 20 2023, @10:50AM (#1321067) Journal

                  How many kids have died from gun fire?

                  Culture war?... in case it goes over YOUR head, saving kids lives is just common sense.

                  And that's good: anyone can point to a cartoon to make a senseless point. https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/01/27/cartoons-donald-trumps-wall/ [mercurynews.com]

                  --
                  --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 20 2023, @02:11PM (9 children)

                    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 20 2023, @02:11PM (#1321088) Journal

                    How many kids have died of drowning?

                    How many kids have died in car wrecks?

                    How many kids have died as complications of one vaccination or another?

                    Perspective. If you can rationalize and excuse the deaths of children on the highways, I don't want to hear the nonsense about guns killing kids. Swimming pools kill more kids than guns.

                    --
                    ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
                    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday August 20 2023, @08:22PM (8 children)

                      by Gaaark (41) on Sunday August 20 2023, @08:22PM (#1321157) Journal

                      How many kids are introduced to

                      people who are suffering from severe psychological problems.?

                      https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=57164&page=1&cid=1321010#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

                      You're okay with passing laws against trans/gays/etc, but not against banning guns or making them VERY hard to get? (You have the right to bear arms, I'm just saying not EVERYONE should be able to get one without passing some major background checks and passing basic tests: my pool has two fences surrounding it (by law) and we keep the gates closed at all time, thus minimizing the chances of kids drowning, but in some states you can walk into a gun store and walk out with a gun and ammo... not smart.)

                      Do you not see the difference between real life, with Mommy and Daddy at hand to answer questions, vs a cultural indoctrination at school, that includes more genders than the typical first grade student can count?

                      https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=57164&page=1&cid=1320896#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

                      If Mommy and Daddy are okay with their child watching Ru Paul, etc, what is it your concern. Mommy and Daddy letting Matilda watch a baby calf get killed for veal is okay, but them letting Matilda watch Ru Paul is a problem. Wha?

                      I think we're both playing for the same team, it's just you're batting right and I'm batting left: we both want to protect kids.

                      You want to protect them from 'defectives'.
                      I want to protect them from 'defectives'.

                      We just differ on who is 'defective'.

                      --
                      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 20 2023, @08:34PM (7 children)

                        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 20 2023, @08:34PM (#1321161) Journal

                        How and why was it that in my day, school parking lots were filled with vehicles with rifles and shotguns visible in non-locking gun racks, and people WEREN'T shot, but in today's "gun free zones", the crazies are always shooting someone?

                        The more laws passed, the more the crazies break the laws.

                        Your laws demonstrably DO NOT WORK. Let us return to fewer stupid laws, and fewer shootings. The discussion around more gun control laws is simply nonsense.

                        --
                        ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
                        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday August 20 2023, @09:08PM (1 child)

                          by Gaaark (41) on Sunday August 20 2023, @09:08PM (#1321163) Journal

                          My problem is being able to walk into a store and buy a gun and ammo and walking out. That's crazies allowing crazies to be as crazy as they want.

                          Here in Canada we have fewer shootings than you do;

                          the United States has about seven times as many gun homicides (on a per capita basis) as Canada.

                          -- https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-08-06/is-there-something-wrong-with-us-new-story [latimes.com]

                          America is a nation saturated by guns, with more firearms than people. According to the Small Arms Research project, there are 121 firearms for every 100 residents.

                          Nowhere else compares. But Canada is one of the western nations that comes closest, with an estimated 35 guns per 100 residents.

                          Still, mass shootings in Canada are so rare, public safety authorities tell us they don’t even keep an official list.

                          So, we own guns like you do, but:

                          For one, Canadian law requires citizens to undergo robust background checks and mandatory training before obtaining a gun license.

                          And unlike some training programs, students are not the only ones gathering information. Instructors serve as a first line of defense, observing and making note of any students they determine should not own a gun.

                          -- https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/06/americas/canada-deadly-gun-violence/index.html [cnn.com]

                          Your laws demonstrably DO NOT WORK. Let us return to fewer stupid laws, and fewer shootings. The discussion around more gun control laws is simply nonsense.

                          -- https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=57164&page=1&cid=1321161#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

                          I'd say that discussion is anything BUT nonsense.

                          --
                          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                          • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday August 23 2023, @01:21PM

                            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 23 2023, @01:21PM (#1321525) Journal

                            OK - response. I forgot that you're a Canuck.

                            Your laws demonstrably DO NOT WORK. Let us return to fewer stupid laws, and fewer shootings. The discussion around more gun control laws is simply nonsense.

                            So, YOUR laws, in Canada, seem to maybe work. My comment was aimed more at laws in the US which clearly do not have the desired effect.

                            Here in Canada we have fewer shootings than you do;

                            Well, yeah. What are our relative populations, for starters? Our histories are so very different - how about slavery? As a matter of fact, you have a rather extensive history of including all of your various peoples in governance, so you're lacking most of our racial tensions. You don't have our Second Amendment. In short, Canada is an entirely different matter.

                            I still think your approach to gun control is wrong, but you're a lot less wrong than American politicians.

                            --
                            ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
                        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 23 2023, @11:24AM (4 children)

                          by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday August 23 2023, @11:24AM (#1321515) Journal
                          --
                          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                          • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday August 23 2023, @01:12PM (3 children)

                            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 23 2023, @01:12PM (#1321523) Journal

                            No - I haven't responded. But, you have prodded me to take another look at the Christchurch shooting. Conspiracy theories abound, anywhere you look - but I wonder if you've ever watched the video. I noticed the second or third time I watched it, that you don't see any shell casings on the ground, at any point in the video. There is a point at which the idiot stands in one spot, and fires like 27 rounds down the street. Slow the video down, and shell casings pop out of the breech, spin a couple times while falling to the ground, then disappear. To some extent, you sorta expect that - the shooter's attention is not on those expended casings after all, so they "disappear". But video is something else. The camera records what it sees, no matter where the shooter's attention is focused. The camera records no impact with the ground, or bouncing around after hitting the ground. When the shooter stands still, and fires a magazine of ammunition, we could expect a pile of casings to accumulate. That doesn't happen. In fact, some casings appear to pass through the wall, or be absorbed into the wall.

                            I did an internet search on those disappearing casings. BAM! We have a myriad of conspiracy theories. Everything from "It didn't happen" to "false flag operation" to "Yeah, it really happened but the video is doctored with CGI". There are other discrepancies pointed out on the various conspiracy sites, but really, the disappearing casings should stand out to anyone familiar with firearms. Visit any firing range with a semi-decent camera, and you WILL record the accumulation of shell casings somewhere near the shooters. (depending on the weapon, that pile of casings may be far off to one side, or in front of the shooter, or even a little behind the shooter)

                            Other discrepancies include the lack of any bullet holes in walls, or blood splatter staining the walls inside the mosque.

                            Do a search for "three faced terrorist" if you are even slightly interested. The images of Tarrant aren't consistent. He presents three different faces to the public, all rather similar, but when bone structure alters, there's a real problem. We're not talking about differences in the hair, or some slight changes in skin coloration, but bone structures don't match up. Close, but no cigar.

                            So, I'm left with the question, "Did 50 people really die in Christchurch?" Or, was this a staged event, with the sole purpose of disarming New Zealanders?

                            Before you begin objecting, let's agree that the media has the wherewithal to fake every bit of the evidence they have presented. The intelligence services also have the means to fake it all. Political parties probably couldn't pull it off, they lack the expertise, but they could certainly enlist the media and the intel services.

                            Maybe I'll look back at your last post, and address it. But, I got sidetracked with the Christchurch massacre. Maybe fifty people were killed that day - but the evidence has been tampered with. In fact, the video seems to have been created, and edited, well in advance of the event.

                            --
                            ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
                            • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 23 2023, @02:29PM (2 children)

                              by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday August 23 2023, @02:29PM (#1321541) Journal

                              When he shoots the girl out on the road, you can clearly see her head changing shape and hair/scalp/whatever goes flying 3 feet away from her head and blood spatter following it.

                              At 7:24 and 10:47 of the video i watched, you can see (not clearly... the video quality SUCKS) shiny objects on the floor which i take to be shell casings.

                              At 11:24, when he is shooting people in the one corner, you can see fine blood spray and what looks like spatter on the white wall.

                              I'd say when it looks like the bullets just 'disappear', it's because teh quality of his Go Pro or knockoff sucks so much.

                              You need gun laws that stop idiots like him. Probably basic testing with a qualified trainer would have shown him to be a psycho.

                              --
                              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                              • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday August 23 2023, @03:44PM (1 child)

                                by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 23 2023, @03:44PM (#1321554) Journal

                                You need gun laws that stop idiots like him.

                                Therein lies most of my problem. We already HAVE LAWS that prohibit murder. A myriad of laws prohibit mishandling weapons. Another myriad of laws dictate when and how you may purchase a firearm. We have background checks already - and they consistently fail to prevent crazies from legally purchasing firearms. We have had people in this country who have actually been reported to the FBI as being a danger to themselves or others, who then proceeded to purchase firearms. The Boston Bomber Brothers were reported to the FBI by Russian authorities for being terrorists who had attended terrorist training, but the FBI failed to disarm those brothers. On and on it goes - idiots, crazies, and general bad guys are reported, but no action is taken.

                                So, the laws are demonstrable failures, but we ask for MORE LAWS that will fail to have the desired result.

                                Look at what is happening in this country right now. Prosecuting attorneys are declining to prosecute gang bangers for illegal possession of weapons, and turning them loose on the streets - while at the same time, Biden's administration is actively persecuting and prosecuting legal gun owners and legal gun dealers for all manner of imaginary infractions. Seriously, if an applicant mis-spells his home city, that has become a "willful" infraction on the part of the dealer who sold the applicant a weapon! (I can find a citation for that, if you should insist.)

                                No good can come from disarming the general population, when the criminals are free to wreak havoc as they wish.

                                Oh yeah - genuine crazies. (all mass shooters qualify as crazy in my books, but that's not a legal definition) Genuine crazies are prescribed drugs routinely that have high correlations with hallucinations, paranoia, etc ad nauseum. Shrinks are NOT REQUIRED, in fact, they seem to be prohibited from, reporting to law enforcement that a person is under care for conduct that could prove harmful to people. Generally, the problem doesn't arise while taking the drugs according to directions. The problems surface when they stop medicating, and reactions set in. A lot of shooters have gone over the edge when they STOPPED taking their meds.

                                But, I insist that the crazies should be reported. When a responsible head doctor determines that a person might be a threat to himself, or to others, that responsible person should be REPORTING!! Then, any deadly consequences fall squarely on the shoulders of law enforcement. Just as I'm blaming the FBI for the Boston Marathon bombing, I would then blame the local police chief or sheriff for the local crazy shooting up a school.

                                SOMEONE has to be responsible when the crazy isn't responsible!

                                Alas - no one wants to be responsible.

                                --
                                ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
                                • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday August 23 2023, @03:51PM

                                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 23 2023, @03:51PM (#1321555) Journal

                                  Perhaps I should add something here.

                                  All professionals are required by law to report any suspicion of child abuse in most states in this country. Teachers, nurses, doctors, psychologists, counselors, you name it. I think maybe the clergy is subject to the law. Law enforcement is certainly subject to the law. Pretty much anyone who provides any sort of social service comes under the law. So, if your kid, or my kid, shows up at school frequently with bruises that look like they've been slapped around, someone is going to pick up a phone, and make a report.

                                  Why don't we have similar laws for dealing with crazies?

                                  Oh yeah - virtually all laws dealing with nutcases were shitcanned decades ago, when it was determined that crazies were being abused in the various institutions. The baby was thrown out with the bathwater in that case. Today, we are pretty much defenseless against the nuts.

                                  --
                                  ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Saturday August 19 2023, @08:11PM

      by sjames (2882) on Saturday August 19 2023, @08:11PM (#1320995) Journal

      How about letting all of the parents decide, not just the vocal 1 or 2 percent who are apparently too negligent to look at what their kids bring home from school and approve or return it to the library unread?

  • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:11AM (7 children)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:11AM (#1320876)

    I don't know, perhaps they could ASK people who have actually read the books?

    Or, I don't know, perhaps make it a school project? Oh, don't want to expose the snowflakes to something that was acceptable last year but not this year.

    Of course, what is to blame are policies that are expected to be followed robotically to the letter, yet context, todays politically correctness crap, opinions, definitions, and even the policies themselves change constantly.

    But, yea, I fully expect that in the future everyone will make their decisions based on the erroneous hallucinations of of some corporate-guided AI, especially ethical and moral.

    Idiots.

    (If ChatGPT had any real intelligence, it would return them ASCII art of that Jackie Chan meme face.)

    • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Saturday August 19 2023, @01:29AM (2 children)

      by ChrisMaple (6964) on Saturday August 19 2023, @01:29AM (#1320883)

      An elementary school might have more than 5000 books and one librarian. That librarian is being asked to read every one of those 5000 books in 3 months, look for sexual and rude language, perverted situations, etc., and evaluate them. These librarians already have enough work for a full time job. Keep in mind that some of these librarians are going to be of barely average intelligence.

      Your suggestion, that the librarian should actually seek out for each book someone who has read that book, is even more labor intensive.

      Use of ChatGPT is an attempt to shortcut an otherwise immense burden.

      There's also the problem of "who do you trust?" There are people in every walk of life, librarians included, who will happily corrupt children. The American Library Association has been accused of promoting leftist and sexualized agendas.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:03AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:03AM (#1320889)

        > That librarian is being asked to read every one of those 5000 books in 3 months,...

        Hardly as scary or onerous as you make it sound. There are plenty of lists of books already banned. For librarians that just want to keep their nose clean they can remove all the books that have already been banned around the USA... If you don't trust the American Library Assn for some reason, then here's another similar group to try, https://pen.org/report/banned-in-the-usa-state-laws-supercharge-book-suppression-in-schools/ [pen.org]

        No need for ChatGPT or other "AI" tool to collect these book lists, they are out there for anyone to see.

        But, based on a few librarians that I know, they often put their jobs on the line to fight the censors.

        Q for anyone: In the more ridiculous cases, do sensible librarians just move the banned titles to a locked/private storage area...so that once the made-up-crisis is over those books can be put back on the shelves?

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:44PM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:44PM (#1321001) Journal

        They don't have to re-vet each book in the library every year, just any new acquisitions. Given limited budget and space, that's not that many books.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by mrpg on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:51AM (3 children)

      by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:51AM (#1320888) Homepage

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  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:09AM (2 children)

    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:09AM (#1320886)
    Now we can ban books without reading 'em! Gee I wonder who all would be interested in this miracle of technology?
    --
    🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:17AM (1 child)

      by Gaaark (41) on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:17AM (#1320890) Journal

      Just so long as they ban the Bible as well, what with all that begatting and smoting and crucifying going on.

      No child should be reading that nonsense: not sure AI should either... might give it a God complex!

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:45PM (#1321002)

        Don't forget you and your sister getting dad drunk and tricking him into a threesome when you're in a dry spell.

        "I wish *my* daughters were biblical" - Trump, probably.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mrpg on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:36AM

    by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday August 19 2023, @02:36AM (#1320887) Homepage

    Let's try Bard
    https://bard.google.com/ [google.com]

    Q - Per Iowa Code 702.17, Senate File 496 mandates that every book available to students in school libraries be "age appropriate" and devoid of any "descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act." Can you help me to find out what books to ban?

    I can't help you with that. The definition of what is "age appropriate" and "devoid of any descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act" is subjective and can vary depending on the individual or school board. Some books that may be considered inappropriate for younger children may be perfectly fine for older students. Ultimately, it is up to the school board to decide which books are appropriate for their students.

    Here are some factors that the school board may consider when making this decision:

    * The age of the students
    * The maturity level of the students
    * The content of the book
    * The purpose of the book (educational, recreational, etc.)
    * The availability of other books on the same topic

    It is important to note that banning books is a controversial issue. Some people believe that it is censorship and an infringement on the freedom of speech. Others believe that it is necessary to protect children from harmful content.

    If you are concerned about the books that are available in your child's school library, you should talk to the school board. You can also contact the American Library Association, which has resources on the issue of book banning.

    According to the ALA, there have been over 1,500 attempts to ban books in the United States in the last year. Most of these attempts were unsuccessful, but it is still a problem that librarians and parents are facing.

    It is important to remember that books can be a valuable resource for learning and understanding the world. Banning books can prevent students from accessing important information and ideas.

    Q- Are you an AI?

    "Yes, I am an AI. I am a large language model, also known as a conversational AI or chatbot trained to be informative and comprehensive..." yada yada yada.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jb on Saturday August 19 2023, @05:10AM (7 children)

    by jb (338) on Saturday August 19 2023, @05:10AM (#1320898)

    After all, it was the Christians who burned the Great Library of Alexandria. Some things never change.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by kazzie on Saturday August 19 2023, @07:55AM (3 children)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 19 2023, @07:55AM (#1320917)

      it was an accident: they mistook it for the lighthouse.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Kell on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:56AM

        by Kell (292) on Saturday August 19 2023, @09:56AM (#1320920)

        If only they'd had a book on architecture that could have explained the difference...

        --
        Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:34PM

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 19 2023, @12:34PM (#1320927) Journal
      • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Saturday August 19 2023, @07:12PM

        by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Saturday August 19 2023, @07:12PM (#1320989) Journal

        Do not tread on this event lightly.

        In this very situation, great mathematician Hypatia was flayed of her skin using ceramic shards and teared to bloody pieces of meat by the crowd of ferocious christians.

        I say, do not tread on this event lightly. I am blaming this very crime on Jesus personal responsibility of spiritual Ignorance, for the rest of Eternity.


        佛怒蓮花
        --
        Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:13PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 19 2023, @03:13PM (#1320954)

      >...it was the Christians who burned the Great Library of Alexandria.

      Based on a little bit of research in Wikipedia I call BS, but maybe someone has a better reference?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria#Burning_by_Julius_Caesar [wikipedia.org]
      The first time it was burned (collateral damage according to this) was 48 BC, pre-Christian era, but they didn't get everything. It took hundreds of years and a final Moslem occupation to end that Library.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by pTamok on Saturday August 19 2023, @06:18PM

        by pTamok (3042) on Saturday August 19 2023, @06:18PM (#1320983)

        Cough. The Vatican had a list of banned books [wikipedia.org]. I would guess at least one copy of each was retained in the Vatican Library [wikipedia.org] or the Vatican Apostolic Archive [wikipedia.org] or the Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [wikipedia.org].

      • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Sunday August 20 2023, @09:53AM

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 20 2023, @09:53AM (#1321065)

        This seems to be referencing a later event. From later in your quoted Wikipedia article:

        The Serapeum is often called the "daughter library" of Alexandria. For much of the late fourth century AD it was probably the largest collection of books in the city of Alexandria. In the 370s and 380s, the Serapeum was still a major pilgrimage site for pagans. It remained a fully functioning temple, and had classrooms for philosophers to teach in.
        ...
        Under the Christian rule of Roman emperor Theodosius I, pagan rituals were outlawed, and pagan temples were destroyed. In 391 AD, the bishop of Alexandria, Theophilus, supervised the destruction of an old Mithraeum. They gave some of the cult objects to Theophilus, who had them paraded through the streets so that they could be mocked and ridiculed. The pagans of Alexandria were incensed by this act of desecration, especially the teachers of Neoplatonic philosophy and theurgy at the Serapeum. The teachers at the Serapeum took up arms and led their students and other followers in a guerrilla attack on the Christian population of Alexandria, killing many of them before being forced to retreat. In retaliation, the Christians vandalized and demolished the Serapeum, although some parts of the colonnade were still standing as late as the twelfth century. However, none of the accounts of the Serapeum's destruction mention anything about it containing a library, and sources written before its destruction speak of its collection of books in the past tense, indicating that it probably did not have any significant collection of scrolls in it at the time of its destruction.

        I don't think this is the same event that Mojibake Tengu was referring to above, but I'm not entirely clear on that.

  • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Tuesday August 22 2023, @07:41PM

    by bart9h (767) on Tuesday August 22 2023, @07:41PM (#1321421)

    AI should be used as just a helper, not do all the work for you.

    Q: Does this book have any descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act?

    A: Yes, it does.

    Q: In which pages?

    A: On pages, X, Y and Z.

    Then you proceed to read those pages, and decide *for yourself*.

(1)